Two Poems by Jessica Mehta
An Event Worth Celebrating
Run hard (like you mean it)
from a life that’s uneventful,
for it’s events that make a life.
My mother taught me the product
of being afraid. Of staying inside,
of what happens when agoraphobia
snaps you up like wanting pelicans.
It’s quite possible
my life is already half over. Is over.
Could end today or maybe
I’ll outlast them all. Each event
folds me over (I’m cake mix
with surprise flour balls and grainy
sugar goodness heading happy
to the blender). Every event
adds another buttercream rose
to my icing, an extra pinch
of salt to my insides. Who cares
how hot the oven gets? How many
hungry mouths wait, milk
cups in hand, on the other side?
Stack me layer-layer high, add
the sprinkles and fondant pieces.
I’m an event that demands celebration,
a party they’ll talk about (especially
when the drinks kick in)
for years past my sell-by date.
Soon, it will be three, the deadest
of the night. You, in trusting sleep, believe
I’m balled onto my side of the bed. Likely
dreaming of India and grinding
my teeth. You don’t know
I’m here, beneath the alien light
listening to the drunks below
that we can never go back. When did it happen?
When did you start falling
asleep first, boiling water for rubber
bottles and shooting Rolaids
like cheap candy? What was the date
when we became happy
with grueling Uno games and dinners
without wine? Where did it go—
all that uncertainty and grabbing ons
of just once mores? We left it behind,
even the burned edges,
like shoes we outgrew or graphic tees
cracked with sweat. So many,
they don’t come out together. They lose
grips in the haunted house, sight
of one another in the mirror mazes. But we,
we held tight. I followed your scent, you
listened for my breath and in the headache
sprouting bright of it all we’ve burst
like spring in frenzy smack into blossom.